Center of theater, opera and ballet life of Serbia is the building of the National Theater. It is located on the Republic square and along with the National museum building represents one of the most beautiful edifices of the city center. Turbulent history and different stylistic influences during numerous reconstructions of the last 150 years made the National Theater resemble Milan’s La Scala with some Secession details. The interior of the building is designed in the best traditions of the 19th century. Cozy loges in the shape of a horseshoe decorated in white and golden tones and padded with red velvet under the ceiling with painting of Russian artist Kolesnikov – these all are the most beautiful details of the National Theater. In the foyer near the entrance to the hall on the marble floor under crystal chandelier a bust of Mihailo Obrenović, the founder of the Theater, is installed.
Soon after receiving wider autonomy citizens of Serbia were longing for development of Serbian culture. Years before the foundation of the National Theater performances were held in kafanas around the city. In 1867 in Belgrade performed Serbian national theater from Novi Sad, whose actors as the result of huge interest gave 64 performances in inadequate space of kafanas „At the crown“ and „At the English Queen“. It is recorded that prince Mihailo after one of these performances made a historical announcement: „I will build a theater for you and then you will be totally satisfied“. The National Theater building was finished in 1869 and used to be one of the biggest and rich palaces of Serbia. Nowadays performances are held here every day in several halls. Tickets for performances, opera or ballet should be bought in advance.